1. brighteyedgoddess said: hello there! i wanted to start off by saying that i love your blog and its amazing that youre so sweet and how much you help people. Im concerned that i have bipolar as i exhibit many of the syptems but i also have an anxiety disorder and for whatever reason i am always paranoid that people will not believe me when i say that i think i have bipolar which has stopped me from seeking help, i just moved to chicago for college so the doctors here dont know me so im afraid that theyll think (1/2)

    2/3 think that i am lying for some reason?? i know that that sounds really weird and that a medical proffesionall would listen but im just im not sure and so im not sure if you awnser this type of thing but i was wondering what i should say to htem so they understand?? Im sorry i know you dont know me and i hope this isnt weird i just ive felt manic before and ive had the sympotms but i put it down as my adhd or anxiety but im really not feeling like myself and idk what to say to a new therapist

    3/3 (last one i promise) and i just oh im sorry im just feeling really odd nad i hope this isnt too strange, any help you have would be great and if you dont thats okay too, youre really great and im sorry for this long message. Im calling a therapist today to schedaul an appointment cause i think i need to talk about this, but my phyciatrist is back in michigan im sorry that none of this message made sense but youre amazing and thank you for any advice you may have

    Hi there!

    Thank you for your positive feedback! I am glad that you are finding A Bipolar Blog useful. 

    Your concern comes through very clearly, and I can certainly empathize with the anxiety you feel about bringing forth your concerns to a new mental health professional. I have to find a new doctor myself for the first time in eight years, and even though I’m pretty stable, I’m really anxious about it!  Because of the stigma related to mental illness, many people who are struggling with their mental health find it scary to reach out for help.  Bipolar disorder tends to carry more stigma than other illnesses such as unipolar depression, and if you’ve had problems in the past with health professionals dismissing your mental health concerns, I can see where that paranoia comes from.  I want you to know that your feelings are normal, and even though they may be a little overwhelming, they don’t have to prevent you from reaching out for help.  You did it already by sending a message to me, and it sounds as though you were ready to take action and call a therapist, so yay you!

    What symptoms are you currently experiencing? You mentioned something about feeling manic, could you be more specific?  It is possible that what you’re feeling is a combination of your ADHD and anxiety, but a clinician would have to be the one to determine that.  Some medications for ADHD and recreational drug use can trigger manic symptoms, and there are medical conditions that can mimic the symptoms of bipolar, so it is important that you see a medical professional who can order tests to rule these out. 

    When bringing your concerns to a professional, take your time and explain your feelings the best you can.  It may be helpful, especially if you’re anxious, to write down the feelings you are experiencing before hand and bring it to the appointment with you.  Instead of handing it over to the doctor/therapist to look over, read it out loud to them so you know they are getting the info.  They will probably ask you a number of questions so just remain calm, try to be as specific as you can in your answers, and if you get an inkling that your message isn’t getting across, take a breath and try again.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions yourself!  The person you see will probably want to know about any current stressors in your life, how your eating and sleeping have been, as well as your activity level.  If you are on any medications, they will want to know if you’ve been taking them regularly.  It would be a good idea to include this information on the paper with your list of symptoms so you remember and have clear answers to give. 

    Clinicians are scientists, so they really like to quantify things.  Rating scales are typically their first language. I use them sometimes when my clients are having a hard time expressing their feelings.  When I meet bipolar clients, I always ask them how their mood is that day.  I ask them to rate it on a scale from -10 to +10: -10 being suicidal, -6 being moderately depressed, 0 being stable, +6 being hypomanic, and +10 being full-blown manic.  It’s quick, simple, and it makes it easier for me to monitor their well-being over time. If you think it would benefit you, tell the doctor/therapist that you find it easier to rate how you’re doing on a scale; I’m sure they would be more than happy to adjust their questions so that you can do so (less paper-work for them! haha).

    I hope that helps.  If you have any other questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to ask!  My inbox is always open and don’t worry about the length of ask!

    Take care.


  3. Just a head’s up I’m not going to be very active this week while I settle into a new job and deal with some personal stuff!


  4. everybodyhasabrain:

    Recovery is heroic. And I don’t mean that just because recovery is a journey best taken in spandex tights and knee-high boots. That’s obviously true, of course. But it’s also heroic in that it literally follows the different stages of an archetypal heroic story. A journey of recovery encompasses…


  5. lazyyogi:

    *Why* are you the way you are?

    If it is because of external circumstances, then is it really you?

    If it is because of internal chemistry, then is it really you?

    Maybe the sense of who we are isn’t as solid as we thought. And instead of scrambling to solidify something that is by nature ephemeral and non-existent, perhaps we should find out just how unreal our identities are.

    Maybe there is a greater beauty and peace to be uncovered as we begin to operate free from hope and fear.

    (via psychhealth)


  6. "Before you diagnose yourself with depression, or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not … just surrounded by ass holes."
    — William Gibson (via onlinecounsellingcollege)

    Maybe mental health professionals should start applying this same logic to their practice of assessing and diagnosing patients. It’s called trauma-informed practice (or what I’d like to call it, freaking common sense). In my job I see far too many people, mostly kids and abused women, who get diagnosed with a bunch of mental illnesses, when in reality, they are having normal reactions to their situation. I dream of a mental health system that uses a holistic, trauma-informed approach to assessment and treatment so we can minimize misdiagnoses, prevent mental health issues brought on by social factors from turning into full-fledged illnesses, and free up more resources for people who are really struggling because they are refused help because our current system is making decisions about people’s mental state based on approaches that have been and continue to be highly erroneous and ineffective.


  7. Book

    I need to figure out how to get a non-fiction book published.  I have a really good idea for a book to help people with bipolar disorder and if I were able to make it happen, I would donate a portion of the sales to programs that support people with mood disorders.

  8. plantaplanta:



    So. I had no idea about this app until I went into my doctor and he told me about it. 


    This app allows you to input the prescription you have, select your dose, and then find a place near you (or your own pharmacy) with the cheapest price. Then you click “get code/coupon/discount card,” show that to the pharmacist, and THERE YOU GO. SAVING YOU SOME CASH TO GET YOURSELF A WELL DESERVED DRINK, CANDY BAR, DATE MONEY, SEX TOY CASH, OR GO BUY YOURSELF A HAMSTER AND NAME HIM STARLORD WITH THE EXTRA MONEY

    No, but in all seriousness. This app is saving my ass right now. 

    I’m Trans* and have Fibromyalgia, and this is really making a difference already. I hope this helps out other people. We all know it fucking sucks to have to pay this much for the medication we need to function in life. 

    this really helped me out when i didn’t have insurance. like, being able to spend only $8 on meds that normally would’ve cost me $100+ is incredible.

    Very important

    (via ravenstrash)


  9. "

    Depression does not always mean
    Beautiful girls shattering at the wrists
    A glorified, heroic battle for your sanity
    Or mothers that never got the chance to say good-bye

    Sometimes depression means
    Not getting out of bed for three days
    Because your feet refuse to believe
    That they will not shatter upon impact with the floor

    Sometimes depression means
    That summoning the willpower
    To go downstairs and do the laundry
    Is the most impressive thing you accomplish that week

    Sometimes depression means
    Lying on the floor staring at the ceiling for hours
    Because you cannot convince your body
    That it is capable of movement

    Sometimes depression means
    Not being able to write for weeks
    Because the only words you have to offer the world
    Are trapped and drowning and I swear to God I’m trying

    Sometimes depression means
    That every single bone in your body aches
    But you have to keep going through the motions
    Because you are not allowed to call in to work depressed

    Sometimes depression means
    Ignoring every phone call for an entire month
    Because yes, they have the right number
    But you’re not the person they’re looking for, not anymore

    — by Hannah Nicole, NH (Teen Ink: November 2013 Issue)

    (Source: ughpasta, via twentysixscribbles)


  10. Interesting….



  12. You would not believe how many people call me at the hospital asking me how to get their children/adult loved ones committed against their will (sectioned) when it’s not necessary. It’s so gross.

  13. I kinda love this

    (Source: bbseamonster, via erasethestigma)


  14. What do you think, folks?


  15. This is desperately needed.  The attitudes that officers hold about mental health is absolutely revolting. The school that I went to to receive my counselling training had a policing and corrections program.  My counselling instructor told us that every single time he does suicide intervention training with the policing and corrections class, or with police departments in the community, there are always several people that say, “Let them fucking jump”, when asked how they would respond to a potential jumper call.